Built by John Thompson in 1898 in the village of the same name, the distillery is instantly recognisable thanks to its pagoda-shaped roof that stands out amidst the trees and rolling hills. Knockando was the first distillery in Scotland to be built with electric lighting, and in 1905 was directly connected to the Great North of Scotland Railway. In 1994, a part of the Knockando production was put into the J&B Ultima blend to celebrate the quincentenary of Scottish whisky.
Knockando means "Little Black Hill" – from Cnoc-an-dhu in the local dialect. The remote location, along the banks of the river Spey, means that crystal clear spring water is sourced from the Cardnach spring in the nearby mountain ranges. Distillers are careful about the level of peat used when malting the barley, keen to preserve the subtle, fruity flavours of the malt. Knockando has a tradition of only making seasonal malts – using whisky distilled in one year, and you'll see the date it was made marked on the label.
How to Enjoy
To truly savour the scents of cereal and blackcurrant, plus delicate floral, nutty flavours, the 12 Year Old is best served in a traditional whisky glass with water and one or two ice cubes. Classically, Knockando has almond aromas in its younger whiskies, which give way to a weight and depth of flavour over time.
Knockando's 18 Year Old malt is matured slowly in sherry oak casks, yielding a soft vanilla fudge nose with a trace of caramelised brown sugar, and almond and light oak flavours. These qualities make it an ideal sipping malt. The 21 Year Old is a warming, rich-bodied malt, with velvety fruit and flavours – strawberry in particular. It has intense fruit and vanilla scents that are perfect over ice or with water.
Find the perfect malt with the MaltMatcher
Be a good host
Everyone loves a bit of finger food and designated drivers will appreciate some fancy soft drinks.